Nauset Tribe

Nauset Indians. An Algonquian tribe formerly living in Massachusetts, on that part of Cape Cod east of Bass river, forming a part of or being under control of the Wampanoag. A writer 1 says: “The Indians in the county of Barnstable were a distinct people, but they were subject in some respects to the chief sachem of the Wampanoags.” They probably came in contact with the whites at an early date, as the cape was frequently visited by navigators. From this tribe Hunt in 1614 carried off 7 natives and sold them into slavery with 20 Indians of Patuxet. Champlain had an encounter with the Nauset immediately before returning to Europe. They seem to have escaped the great pestilence which prevailed along the New England coast in 1617. Although disposed to attack the colonists at their first meeting, they because their fast friends, and with few exceptions remained faithful to them through King Philip’s War, even in some instances lending assistance. Most of them had been Christianized before this war broke out.
Their estimated population in 1621 was 500, but this is probably below their real strength at that time, as they seem to have numbered as many 80 nears afterward. About 1710, by which time they were all organized into churches, they lost a great many by fever. In 1764 they had decreased to 106, living mainly at Potanumaquut, but in 1802 only 4 were said to remain. Their principal village, Nauset, was near the present Eastham. Although their location indicates that fish furnished their chief sustenance, the Nauset were evidently cultivators of the soil, as supplies of corn and beans were obtained from them by the famishing Plymouth colonists in 1622.

The following villages were probably Nauset:

  • Aquetnet
  • Ashimuit
  • Cataumut
  • Coatuit
  • Cummaquid
  • Manamoyik
  • Manomet
  • Mashpee
  • Mattakeset
  • Meeshawn
  • Namskaket
  • Nauset
  • Nobscusset
  • Pamet
  • Pawpoesit
  • Pispogutt
  • Poponesset
  • Potanumagnut
  • Punonakanit
  • Satucket
  • Satuit
  • Skauton
  • Succonesset
  • Waquoit
  • Weesquobs


  1. Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc., 1st s., VIII, 159, 1802[]

Nauset, Wampanoag,

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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6 thoughts on “Nauset Tribe”

  1. Likey through the Atwell Crocker Hatch and Bearse families, we are all interconnected. Although hidden there is a continuous string of inter-related families that almost seek each other out across centuries. Although not always friendly.

  2. Hi! My great grandmother is Rena S. Pinkerton, she is the grandaughter of Princess Alice Wixon. (Chief Aspinets daughter.) I am trying to learn everything I can about our tribe and culture! Any information would be appreciated, and I look forward to contact!

  3. Debra Crocker Dolloff

    I am looking for any info I can find about the Nauset Native Americans. It seems my family, Crockers, intermarried with the Nauset tribe. I would love any info I can find. I also am interested in the tribal colors, their legends, etc.

    thank you for any info you can offer.
    Debra Dolloff

    1. jennifer Star sullivan

      I am also looking for info and can not find any. Sally Harris had a child with Alvin Howland, unmarried who is my ancestor, and appears she was a free slave.

    2. I am also looking for Nauset tribe possibly Succonesset area (Falmouth MA). I have DNA of probable 100% Native American born between 1690-1780. My fifth great grandfather Joseph Hatch (s.Robert Hatch and Joanna Weeks) from Falmouth MA married a Katherina surname unknown. She is my best guess as being native possibly Nauset tribe. Falmouth history shows there was a friendly relationship between the native tribes and colonists.

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